Goodreads helps you follow your favorite authors. Be the first to learn about new releases!
Start by following Thomas de Waal.

Thomas de Waal Thomas de Waal > Quotes


Thomas de Waal quotes Showing 1-8 of 8

“But the Dashnak Hairenik Weekly was merciless. Quoting the accounts of a few escapees, it depicted Soviet Armenian as a locus not just of economic misery, but moral degradation:     Godlessness, Atheism, Immorality, Robbery and perpetual spying on one another! There is not a trace of our family sanctities left there. Having repudiated the idea of the existence of a God, the Bolshevik ignores every conception of family standards, every moral principle, every social order. Aram’s wife or watch equally can belong to Hagop, Ali, or Stalin. There is no conception of nationality. A Kurd, a Caucasian, a Georgian, or a Turk have the right to become your son-in-law when they wish it. They have the right to divorce the very next day.26”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“On the previous day, four Armenian witnesses told the Congressmen how the Bolsheviks had overthrown the Armenian First Republic in 1920. All of them were affiliated with the ARF, and two, Reuben Darbinian and General Dro Kanayan, had served in the government of the First Republic. The Armenian testimonies also appear to have been choreographed with the aim of throwing all possible blame on the Bolsheviks and suppressing the role of other culprits in the fate of the Armenians—in this case, the Turks. So Beglar Navassardian, executive secretary of the still-extant American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (and son of the ARF leader in Egypt), gave a brief excursion through the history of Armenia that surely would have caused apoplexy in his predecessors in that committee in the 1920s.     Navassardian barely mentioned the 1915 Genocide in his testimony. He managed only to say, “Finally during the First World War, the Armenian people made the final and supreme sacrifice. They firmly and squarely sided with the Allies, gave volunteer forces under the Allied Command in the Middle East, on the eastern front and elsewhere. For a people whose numbers had been decimated to less than 4 million, they gave a participation of 250,000, fighting against the Axis Powers.”34     General Dro spoke through an interpreter. The awkward issue of his wartime collaboration with Nazi Germany was not mentioned. The general reminisced about a luncheon in 1921 hosted for him by Stalin, whom he described as an old comrade from the revolution of 1905, at which promises were made and then broken. Dro, a veteran of the Russian-Ottoman war, also conspicuously failed to mention Turkey or 1915. He only spoke about atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks, who, he said, “took over Armenia with a brutality and persecution characteristic of the Middle Ages.”35     A certain kind of Armenia—one that had lost its independence, bravely fighting Soviet Russia—was required by the Cold War American political imagination. Concluding the hearings, the chairman, Representative Michael Feighan, praised General Dro, saying, “Our committee appreciates very much this first-hand testimony from you who have fought so vigorously for the freedom and independence of Armenia.”36”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“On a visit to a mosque that had been formerly been an Armenian church in the town of Antep (now Gaziantep), the current custodian, the imam, happened to be inside. The imam suggested to the bishop that this holy space belonged to both of them and they prayed together. If politicians in Ankara warned that the ordinary population of Eastern Anatolia was still hostile toward Armenians, this was not the impression our group received. On the contrary, many people not only remembered Armenians but seemed to think that their return was a good omen.”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“On all the roads we traversed between Yozgat and Kayseri, about 80 per cent of the Muslims we encountered (there were no Christians left in these parts) were wearing European clothes, bearing on their persons proof of the crimes they had committed. Indeed, it was an absurd sight: overcoats, frock coats, jackets—various men’s and women’s European garments of the finest materials—on villagers who were also wearing sandals and traditional baggy pants [shalvars]. Barefoot Turkish peasant boys wore formal clothes; men sported gold chains and watches. It was reported that the women had confiscated many pieces of diamond jewelry, but [as they were sequestered] we had no way of encountering them.34”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“Many of those who survived stressed that they did so due to Muslim families like these, or else to the bravery of ordinary “good Turks,” and also Kurds, who protected Armenians. For example, a survivor from Adana said, “We were like brothers. Our Turks said later, ‘Whoever was the cause of this genocide, may God blind his eyes.’ They did not wish our death. In fact if it weren’t for these good Turks, we would all have been killed, too. All the orders came from Istanbul.”38”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“The AKP government in Turkey, in power since 2002, while not officially abandoning its predecessors’ denialist approach to the issue, has taken a more permissive attitude, allowing alternative histories to be written and read in Turkey itself. This means that, first, the Turkish nationalist (or “denialist”) version of the Armenian Genocide that took root in the 1950s has crumbled in the face of the new scholarship: None of these Turkish nationalist historians has managed to write a full-length book that sets out a coherent “Turkish version” of what happened to the Armenians.”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“At the heart of each of these mass atrocities, he argues, was a state-building project in which traitorous inconvenient minorities were perceived as a threat and ultimately were destroyed.”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide
“It was eventually named “the sub-commission on the historical dimension to implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations.”
Thomas de Waal, Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide


All Quotes | Add A Quote


The Caucasus: An Introduction The Caucasus
450 ratings
Open Preview
Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War Black Garden
379 ratings
Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide Great Catastrophe
72 ratings
Open Preview